Austrian GP: Verstappen wins sprint to extend title lead
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took a controlled victory in the sprint race at the Austrian Grand Prix to edge further ahead in the championship.
The Dutchman beat Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, extending his lead over Leclerc to 44 points.
Leclerc fought off an early challenge from Sainz but was safe in second once far enough ahead of his team-mate to lose the DRS overtaking aid.
Mercedes’ George Russell took fourth and Lewis Hamilton eighth.
Hamilton’s race was hampered by a tangle at the start that saw Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly pitched into a spin, and then getting stuck behind the two Haas cars, before eventually overhauling Mick Schumacher for the final point.
The sprint result made little difference to the starting order for Sunday’s main event, other than to enable Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to recover ground from his 13th place to finish fifth, where the Mexican will now start the grand prix.
Perez benefited from the Red Bull’s strong straight-line speed to make impressive progress, whereas Hamilton was hampered by the Mercedes’ struggles in that area.
The big loser was Fernando Alonso, whose Alpine would not start on the grid and had to retire before turning a wheel. (BBC Sport)